New leader will oversee ports, airport system and Cleveland Hopkins 20-year master plan
April 17, 2023 — Cleveland — Mayor Justin M. Bibb announced today that Bryant L. Francis will be Cleveland’s new Director of Port Control, following a national search led by industry experts at Korn Ferry.
“I am delighted that we are bringing Bryant to Cleveland at this pivotal time for our airport system,” said Mayor Bibb. “He is a leader that we know can hit the ground running and jump start our $2 billion, 20-year master plan to transform Cleveland Hopkins into a world-class airport for our city and the region.”
Francis will assume the role from Interim Director Dennis Kramer who has been the acting leader of the airport and ports since Robert Kennedy’s departure in July 2022. His first day will be May 24, 2023.
“I am grateful for everything Dennis Kramer has done as acting director, not just to stabilize the airport, but to keep moving the ball forward during this transition,” Mayor Bibb added.
An airport industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience in aviation management, Francis has worked across operations, air service development, marketing and communications, real estate, infrastructure, and general management of airports.
He currently serves as Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland, where he leads a staff of more than 200 people responsible for the management of Oakland International Airport (OAK). OAK welcomed 10 million passengers last year and has seen tremendous success during his seven-year tenure.
Before joining the Port of Oakland, he was the Airport Director in Long Beach, Calif, and Director of Airports in Shreveport, La. He also served in executive capacities at airports in Boise, Detroit, and Palm Springs. He began his career in 1996 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“I was struck by Bryant’s dedication to public service and accountability as well as his natural ability to quickly connect and relate to the people he met with when he spent the day with us in Cleveland,” said Cleveland Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Teeuwen. “He knows this business inside out and is also someone who highly values culture and collaboration—a perfect fit for this role.”
Francis is also well-versed in best practices and issues facing airports nationally and worldwide, serving on both the Airports Council International – North America Board of Directors and its U.S. Policy Council as well as the American Association of Airport Executives Policy Review Committee.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
“I am thrilled to be selected to lead the team in Cleveland and I look forward to getting started on this new chapter of my career,” Francis said. “This is the jumping off point of a real transformation at Cleveland Hopkins and I am excited to lend my experience to shaping and stewarding such a landmark project.”